Fire Ends Charades

Summer and school, dates and lies, hot and cold. Senior high is over, but life has more in store for Anastasie and her charades.

I woke up early even though I didn't have to. I could hear my sister in our jack-and-jill bathroom getting ready.

"Do you have to be so noisy Anastasie? Not all of us have to get up for school."I complained, rolling over in my bed.

"Just because you don't have to get up early doesn't mean you can complain Christelle. And besides, it's the first day of my senior year! I want to make a good impression."Anastasie retorted, her French accent crisp and clear."

You don't have to be so noisy!"I cried, sliding out of bed.

Immediatly I caught sight of my reflection in my mirror, and about freaked. My dark brown hair was stuck out at random angles, and my face had lines on them from sleeping weird.

"Good thing I'm not going anywhere today."I mumbled, my own French accent as clear as my sister's. 

I reached over and grabbed my phone, seeing that I already had two messages, both from my darling boyfriend Matthew. I quickly replied to them and threw my phone back on the bed before going downstairs to find Matthew there.

"Morning sleepyhead."He said, kissing me.

"Morning Matt."I replied, self conciously running a hand through my hair.

 "I've seen you worse."Matthew said, pushing a plate of eggs in front of me.

Before I could reply Anastasie came running down the stairs and into the kitchen.

"Morning Matt!"She called, sliding into the chair next to me. "Morning Anastasie."He replied.

I laughed to myself as I remembered the first day I met Matthew.


It was my first day of tenth grade and I knew absolutly no one at the high school, nor the city except my family. My parents, 9th grade sister, and 8th grade brother and I had just moved from Paris, France to New York, New York. It was a hard move, but not that hard considering my entire family was already fluent in english. My mom had just dropped me off in front of the school, and I was trying to find my locker. 

"Je l'ai trouvé!"I murmured to myself as I came across my locker.

"Excuse me? Found what?"A voice asked.

I turned aroud quickly, dumping my books all over the floor.

"Bateau!"I cursed.

"Ship?"The voice asked.

I looked up into ocean blue eyes, and then backed away to find that they belonged to a male about my age.

"I'm Matt, er.... Matthew Locke."He said.

"I'm Christelle, Christelle Rousseau."I replied.

"Christelle... I like that name. French, very French."Matthew said.

It surprised me that he knew what I had said, and that he could pronounce my name so easily.

"Um, thank you. But, how did you know what I said?"I inquired.

"I've taken French here the past two years."Matthew replied.

"Oh."I said stupidly.

"Do you randomly shout "boat"?"Matthew asked.

"It's my euphimism for other curse words."I said. 

"Creative, I like it."Matthew said.

The bell rang, and Matthew led me off to class, the beginning of a long relationship.


"What're you laughing at?"Matt asked, bringing me back to reality

."First time we met."I said."That was good day, was it not?"Matt asked.

"It certainly was interesting."I said, finishing off my eggs.

"Now, what's our plan for today?"Matt asked.

"I have to-"But my reply was interrupted as my brother came rushing down the stairs.

"AM I LATE?"He cried out, skidding to a halt.

"You don't have time for breakfast, but you aren't late yet Nicolas."I answered.

"Good."Nicolas said, grabbing his car keys off the counter.

"Take Anastasie with you."I called after him as he ran out the door.

Anastasie jumped up and grabbed her bag before running out the door.

"Like I was saying, what do you want to do today?"Matt repeated.

"I have to help clean this morning but after that I don't know."I sighed.

"Wanna see a movie?"Matthew asked.

"Sure."I answered. "Find something good, I'm gonna get a headstart on cleaning."

"See you around one then."Matt said, kissing me goodbye.

"Will do."I replied, one hand self conciously protecting my flat stomach.

"Christelle, is something wrong?"Matt asked as he stood by the door.

"No, I'm fine. Just tired."I lied.

"You're lying."Matt called.

"I'm just tired."I repeated.

"I'm not going to push."Matt said, and then he was gone.


The morning went by quickly and soon I heard the doorbell ring, and a knock that unmistakingly belonged to Matt. I quickly ran a brush through my hair and grabbed my purse and phone before running down the stairs and out the door.

"You look beautiful."Matt said as we drove to the movie theatre.

"Thank you."I said, dipping my head modestly. 

It was short drive to the theatre, and because school had started it was mostly empty. Within moments we had our tickets and were sitting in the darkened theatre. After half-an-hour Matt leaned closer to me.

"I'm going to the restroom."And with that he was gone.

I turned my attention back to the screen, but the movie didn't seem to catch my attention; I wasn't a big movie person. After a few minutes I heard a loud sound, and saw the fire alarm going off. My heart began to pound, but I grabbed my purse and Matt's jacket before joining the mass of people trying to get out of the theatre. As I exited the actual theatre into the food court I could see the fire that started near the other side and was slowly working its way over toward this side. Based on how quickly the fire was spreading, I knew I wasn't going to make it out the way I was going. With a sigh I ran back into the theatre, and saw the large Exit sign on the other side of the room. I started towards it, but was stopped by hands around my waist.

"Where're you goin' missy?"The man slurred.

"Get off me!"I cried, lashing out.

Something struck and the man let go but I fell to the ground, landing on my arm awkwardly. Pain shot up my arm, but I got up and ran towards the exit and burst through the door and into the bright air. I could hear sirens and smell the fire. I found my way to the parking lot, and sat on my car, scanning the crowds for Matt. I didn't see him, but figured he was just blending in with the numerous other tall, blonde haired guys in the crowd. After a few minutes I stood up as the cops and firefighters arrived. I stood with the other people as the cops went around trying to figure out what had happened and if anyone needed medical help. Ever since I had made it into the food court I had been coughing and my arm was hurting, causing the cops to hurry to my side. As I was led to the ambulance I wondered where Matt was.The ambulance pulled away, and even hours later when my arm had been stuck in a cast and the arsonist had been found I still didn't know where Matt was. 

"Christelle, ma chérie, what happened?"My mother asked, even though she knew.

"Where's Matt?"I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.

"I don't know ma chérie."My mother said as two detectives walked into the room.

"Ms. Rousseau?"The first detective asked, saying my name very American.

"Oui."I answered, unconciously slipping into French.

"You stated earlier that you were at the theatre with your boyfriend but you don't know where he is now. What's his name?"He asked.

"Matthew Locke."I said, rubbing the ring on my index finger.

"Mind describing him to us?"The second detective asked.

"He's tall, I don't know how tall, with shaggy blonde hair, and blue eyes. He's my age, broad like a football player...."I hesitated, not sure what else to say.

"Mrs. Rousseau, do you think you could identify Mr. Locke?"The detective asked.

"No, I don't think so."My mother answered.

"When can you go home Ms. Rousseau?"The detective asked.

"Right now."The doctor said, entering the room.

"We need you to indentify a body."The detective said.

An hour and a half later I found myself staring down into the cold, glassy eyes of my boyfriend. No, the charade was over. My husband lay dead, and I was stuck carrying his child. I felt tears sliding down my face as I took the ring off my index finger, read the inscription on the inside, and placed it on it's rightful spot on my ring finger.

"Mon amour, I'll love you forever."

The End

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